Blended Family Harmony: Communication, Co-Parenting, and Financial Strategies with Mikel Van Cleve

“I can’t emphasize enough with blended families, you are going to have differences and you’re going to have things that you work through, and there’s a healthy way to work through it, and there’s an unhealthy way.”


What happens when you blend two families, each with its unique dynamics and histories? Our host Ed Coambs sits down with Mikel Van Cleve, a PhD student at Texas Tech University who focuses on blended families and financial planning. Mikel shares both his academic insights and personal journey of merging his family with his wife Heather, each bringing two children from previous relationships. They discuss the essential role of communication and explore strategies for managing different parenting styles and co-parenting with exes.


Ever thought about the financial complexities of blended families? Marrying someone often means factoring in their financial history, including obligations like alimony or child support. Mikel’s real-life anecdotes illuminate how ongoing changes, like an ex-spouse's remarriage, can impact the family system, making the need for clear communication and adaptable strategies all the more critical.


From setting boundaries to navigating favoritism and conflicts, Ed and Mikel’s conversation offers a roadmap for creating harmonious relationships. They touch on the vital need for tailored estate planning to ensure fair inheritance and explore the emotional landscape that accompanies these financial decisions. Whether you're part of a blended family or just curious, this episode provides invaluable insights into fostering a nurturing environment for everyone involved.



Key Topics:

  • Mikel’s Blended Family Story (02:27)
  • Financial Management in Blended Families (04:20)
  • Challenges and Strategies for Blended Families (10:49)
  • Legal Rights around Blended Families (15:57)
  • Estate Planning for Blended Families (20:47)
  • Understanding Blended Families’ Unique Dynamics with Your Financial Planner (26:35)
  • Blended Families and the Dangers of Favoritism (31:34)
  • The Importance of Open Communication in Blended Families (37:05)
  • Strategies for Growth in Blended Families (43:58)






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